On Friday I posted about a marketing stunt outside an Apple Store in Sydney, Australia that pretty much the entire net believed was staged by, or on behalf of, Samsung. The general reaction, including my own, was that it was a pretty dickish stunt – rude, annoying, and disruptive, and that Samsung was better than that.
Well, actually, Samsung is better than that, since they had nothing to do with it. It turns out the stunt was staged by, of all companies, RIM – as uncovered by Macworld. And RIM fessed up once it was uncovered:
UPDATE: RIM Australia issued a statement this morning, May 1 9:20 AM AEST, with Richelle Gillett, Account Director from Spectrum Communications for Blackberry confirming:
“We can confirm that the Australian ‘Wake Up’ campaign, which involves a series of experiential activities taking place across Sydney and Melbourne, was created by RIM Australia. A reveal will take place on May 7th that will aim to provoke conversation on what ‘being in business’ means to Australians.”
I don’t know what is sadder – the idiotic stunt itself, all of the free publicity RIM effectively bought for Samsung (with more to come as updates, like this one, get posted), or that it seems RIM wasn’t even considered as a possible culprit in the PR stunt. When you think of companies staging social media stunts, RIM just isn’t the company that comes to mind. They just aren’t considered ‘cool’.
It reminds me of the old OS/2 Warp ads in which IBM tried so desperately to seem cool. As my best friend once put it some years ago: “It’s like watching your grandfather breakdance, seeing a company like Honda or IBM try to Get Down Verbally. You don’t know whether to be mortified or just afraid he’ll break a hip.”
Way to go RIM.